School picture day.
Why, oh why, has it not changed since I was in school?
The hideous electric blue background?
The weird posing?
The forced smiles?

But why do I feel like if I don't buy them, than I am missing out on some great, important childhood milestone?

Tell me that I am not the only one.

Thankfully, I am not in that "Mom, I need 276 wallet pictures to pass out to my friends" stage.  I'm still in the "I am going to buy the smallest package possible to keep the grandparents happy" stage.

To make matters worse, picture day is always on PE day.  Which means there is some crazy hair going on.


Can anyone say "I'm so thankful for re-takes?"

This year I decided to mess with tradition and sit them down for a thirty second school picture day sesh.
I am pretty sure that I already like these better than the "I'm a photographer that just got here in a time machine from 1986" pictures that I'll get in a few weeks.

We will see.

Important F.Y.I.

These are not the teachers real names.
Although that would be amazing.

There is a dentist in my office named Dr. Rad.
Sadly, he is not my dentist.  If he was, maybe my extravaganza would be more, well, rad.

In case you have a few minutes/ hours to kill, there is always so much mockery to be had at Bad Yearbook Photos.  I am thinking that I could submit a few (all) of my own.  It was tough being a child of the 1980's.  The ugliest decade in all of history.  All of it.
I also love Rage Against the Minivan's take on picture day for her kids.
While you are there I dare you to read this.  Dare you.


  1. Yesterday was picture day for the boys.
    Yesterday was also GARDENING day for Riley.
    Dirt all.over.the.shirt.
    So maybe it will compliment the lovely royal blue background.

    {But did I buy a package? Of course. How could I not?!?!}


  2. This is the best idea ever! I love adding the information off to the side. Perfect!

  3. Love these! Brilliant!

    The 80s were awful. Which is why I can't understand why all of these teenagers are bringing them back. Leave well enough alone people. The 80s should stay in.the.past.

  4. I stopped buying those hideous pictures when my daughter was in the third grade. Did I feel guilty? YES! I made up for it by taking alot of pics of my kids growing up but now that my kids are grown, I wish I had bought the packages, because no matter how terrible they turned out, they were real. If we don't buy the packages how the heck are we supposed to post them and make fun of them years from now?

  5. Bhahaha.. I was just thinking this the other day when my kiddos were having their picture day. I also buy the smallest package, just to have. But I don't think there ever taken out of the envelope after I receive them. LOL

  6. Julie, your girls are so beautiful! Great idea!

  7. i don't buy the pictures anymore.
    i quit 5 years ago.
    my reasons were that year the cheapest package was $13 and you got ONE picture. so i will cost more every year....times five....for pictures i don't want.
    so i quit.
    and i swear i am the only one.
    but i don't care anymore.
    they still take their picture for the class thing and no one knows we don't buy them.
    i just don't want them.

    purple mini blinds.

  8. i just did my brothers school pics for my mom, the "big" photographer in our town, who sucks btw, has contracts with all the schools to do there pics not my bros though lol his came out amazing!

  9. Yep. I'm with ya. I still just buy the obligatory "grandparents package" but that's all. Does your school also do the "ultra cool" spring portraits (i.e. a fake palm tree, beachy backdrop and full body awkward posing)?? Those are fun. And twice as much. sigh.

    Your girlies look fantastic! At least you know what to do with wavy hair. My mom had no clue. Yes, the 80's were BAD for me. I didn't discover gel until high school. :(

  10. Just wait till they go to High School, my daughter didn't even give me the form this year. When I asked her why she said "why would you want those pictures - they always suck". How true :)

  11. I never bought them. *gasp*
    And I am lame, because I never 'posed' them for 1st year of home schooling pics either. Maybe this year...

    Those pics, of the girls, I could literally eat them with a spoon. Adorable.

    Eat them may be a southern thing that sounds terrifying to you.

    I'll stop now, before I make it to the 5 o'clock news as the crazed Homeschooler (in a jumper, no less)that eats kids.

  12. I have bought them for the past 13 years and continue to do it, only the packages get smaller and the price goes up... Fortunately here they now give us back ground color choice, and all I REALLY want is the 8X10 for my hallway and the class photo... I am glad I have stuck with it and bought them, simply because I can watch them grow through the years... I only have 10 more years to go... ugh...

  13. Ewww. Yuck. Hate.

    3 words: smallest package & scanner.

    For baby book and grandparent purposes only.

  14. Your idea is fabulous!! Your picturs are fabulous!! I always cringe when the picture packet comes back - once in awhile I'm pleasantly surprised. :) Our schools now do Fall AND Spring pictures. I feel guilted into buying both - I feel I will regret it one day.

    Speaking of being a child of the '80s - I just ran across my "School Days" book from grade school. I flipped through it and quickly shoved it back in horror. I do agree those were the worst styles and the ugliest decade! I would like to think it wasn't just me. :)
    Lots of velour and rainbow shirts, bad hair - ugh.

    Anyway, Happy Picture Day!! Ours is next week.

  15. I so needed to read this today. Today is picture day at Miss Sassy's school, and although I told myself that I would not be ordering pictures because the pictures I take are about 4,322 times better, I found myself slipping a check into that dreaded envelope while sending her off this morning. I, too, took some of our own outside before we left. I, too, question my sanity but realize that pre-K pictures only happen once, and we just HAD to have some. :)

  16. i buy the bare minimum too.
    for the grandparents.
    and the scrapbook ;)
    $14.95 yikes.
    your pics are gorgeous!

  17. You know what's awesome? They planned school picture day this year during the mandatory "wear red to school week" for Red Ribbon Week. I have dressed her in WHITE every year since preschool for school photos. So NOW, thanks to the school's awesome timing, I will be the evil mommy who didn't let her win a prize for wearing red consistantly. Lame. And if I were to have ever been of marrying age and have met a Dr. Rad, I can assure you what my last name would have been.

    P.S. The girls are the cutest.
    P.S.S. Seeing 2011 in writing kinda freaks me out.

  18. We just got our pictures back from last week's picture day. Luckily it was not the Lifetouch pictures I grew up with!

  19. Oh yeah, my school pictures all included things like crimped hair, side pony tails and big bangs...yuck!

  20. I totally relate! If it was up to only me we wouldn't buy any. But like you said... gotta keep the grandparents happy!!

  21. THOSE pictures are precious, absolutely adorable. Come take my girls' pictures!!!

  22. Haha. I think school pictures are awesome. Part of growing up. We don't take them too seriously around here because we take our own pictures. When my son was in fourth grade, we let him grow his hair out for picture day. He gets the biggest straight fro you've ever seen! We call it helmet hair, cuz it looks like he's wearing a helmet. Then we poofed it out as big as we could & sent him off to school for picture day. He (being a boy) was thrilled. The picture turned out great & we all laugh to this day, even though the boy is now 15. And what a great picture to pull out someday for the girlfriends. :)

    Wait. Does this make us horrible parents?

  23. I feel your pain! My son had pics a few months ago. I fixed his hair and he looked adorable. I got the pics back and his hair was slicked down in one spot (not how I fixed it) and his head was turned funky. We get a few pics free and we have to buy them if we want more or if we want re-takes. I've decided to take pictures myself to pass out to family and keep the school pics for memories!

  24. We also had picture day today. I am anxious to see what kind of craziness took place with their hair just prior to the camera's snap. The fate of my boys' 2nd and 5th grade pictures rested in the hands of two very tired and overworked looking 20 somethings, who by the way are not moms and don't care much about tucked collars and hair in the eyes. I am looking forward to gazing upon my cutie's pictures full of fake smiles and lazy eyes.

  25. Right there with you, I don't like the school photos either but I order the minimum (or scan/print the proof and just send it back-- shhh!) I put one in the scrapbook every year, that's about it.

    We had school picture day yesterday-- should have done your trick and taken my own while my daughter was all cute and made up BEFORE she got on the bus!

    Will be doing our own next year.
    Thanks for the great idea. : )

    pink and green mama

  26. I so agree with you -- I hate picture day and I buy the cheapest package. Each year I say "I'm not buying them at all next year" but again like you I feel like I'd be missing out on something important. So silly.

  27. I totally agree. I dread picture day even more than my kids do.
    I never buy them. Ever.

    But let me just tell you~ the '80s were nothing compared to the scariness that was the 1970's!! I have a picture of me in a yellow/green plaid corduroy jumpsuit that would singe your eyelashes! In my opion, 70s win for ugly- hands down!!

  28. Very cute idea of adding stuff the side of photo!

  29. I am with you 100%! I hate the pictures but get guilted into buying the smallest package. I love your version!

  30. You are definitely not alone! Thankfully, I get a small package and it includes a CD. I think as long as you take a picture, that's all that matters. Although then I wouldn't have the fabulous picture of me without 5 front teeth in second grade. ;) And the only things worse than living through the 80s is having your 5-year old daughter think the rehashed 80s style right now is fashion gold.

  31. beautiful girls! gorgeous even with that blue background:)

  32. these are so cute!!! i totally wish those were actually the teachers' names...before i saw your FYI, i seriously gasped and said, "i wish MY names was Mrs. Rad!!!"

  33. LOVES this! Especially since I just groaned and hemmed and hawed over the ridiculous prices they charge for shi-tay pics. For real. However, we are gonna buy the customary senior pics my son had this year. After I take out a small loan. Geesh!

    I'm so stealing this for the rest of the kids though. :)

  34. LOL, again I couldn't agree w/ you more, but get this ( and you'll see the irony) the Co our schools use for school photos automatically select a soft grey, which IMO is soooo much better than the bright blue, if you want a different colored background it's an extra $5. I stick w/ the grey and purchase the $12 packet. So this year off Rea and I go to pick a perfect shirt for her to wear for pics, bearing in mind she'll have a soft grey background. She came home w/ her pics yesterday and ACK !!! the photographer I'm sure thought she was doing the 'nice' thing and figured that because Rea has pretty red heair, the BRIGHT emerald green background would be stunning, you know because ALL redheads look best in green ? *EYEROLL* I look at the photo and the first thing I see is the green and then tilted in the left hand corner at a crazy weird angle is my precious 7 y/o who has had it w/ the smiling and told to tilt her head in a thousand different directions gritting her teeth and wanting the whole ordeal over. I have had to bribe her w/ Sonic Slushies in order for her to sit through a retake.
    Love what you have done w/ your girls, so much nicer :)

  35. Holy moly those girls are *beyond* gorgeous!!

  36. Your pictures are definitely better than school pictures...the are so adorable. I'm hoping they did pictures this year befroe lunch so we don't have the after-lunch-food-all-over-my-face look. I always buy the smallest package.

  37. This was the year that I rebelled. As I sat at the kitchen table with four order forms in front of me and did the math of the cheapest package times four, I thought, forget it! I'm not spending that much money on four really bad pictures. It felt odd but very freeing to send them off to school on picture day knowing I was not only not wasting my money, but I was also not going to end up with four packages of pictures that I didn't know what I was going to do with.
    Love the pictures you got from your own little photo session. Way cute!

  38. I absolutely love your blog! I am a school teacher and read this post and thought to, I wish my name was Mrs. Awesome! School day is. the. pits. Trust me, teachers hate them too. Great idea doing your own. Trust me, with the ridiculous backgrounds and packages that no one wants, you may just be onto something!

    Thanks for the great laugh and smile...

    alison in TN

  39. I love your blog, thank for allowing us to peek into your life.
    I am a one on one aide and every year the school makes up get our pictures taken and we get a free package...and not the smallest one either. I just got 36 wallets of myself and 2 poses of assorted sizes...seriously?! Uggg. My favorite are the requests writen on the order from parents...fix hair, take off sweater, no fake smiles..400 kids in 3 hours..good luck!

  40. Oh girl, I sooooo hear you!

  41. I always take my own school pictures... I hate spending $33 for bad pictures!! so I took matters into my own hands!! ;) Fall backrounds picked by me... I will never go back!

  42. I did it...I bought them...I didnt want to..but I did...Im sure his hair will be messed up and his smile will look weird....but Im convinced if I dont buy them the world will stop spinning...lols...AND WHY do some school do spring pictures too? Like once wasnt enough...

  43. I didn't buy them this year and I feel so conflicted! I got some really good shots of them on the first day of school and I decided to stick with those, but now I have guilt for missing the "official" ones! Crazy.

  44. Love the pictures you took! I can so relate to the rest...we had ours last week: